The Mad Ants defeated the Iowa Energy 130-116 at Memorial Coliseum tonight, led by Ron Howard’s 36 points on 11-of-15 shooting
He was 14 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Fort Wayne (7-7) also got 27 points, 10 assists and eight steals from Peyton Siva, who is on assignment from the NBA’s Detroit Pistons, while Iowa (10-5) was paced by Othyus Jeffers’ 26 points.
Before the game, the Mad Ants re-signed Darnell Lazare, a 6-foot-8 forward, who played for the team from 2010 to 2012. He averaged 16.2 points and 6.9 rebounds in 2010-11 and 15.5 points and 7 rebounds in 2011-12, when he was a D-League all-star.
He played last season in Australia. He didn’t get in the game Friday.
The Mad Ants will make at least one more addition before their next game, Monday, against Santa Cruz in the D-League Showcase in Reno, Nev., Fort Wayne president Jeff Potter confirmed. That will be guard Jamaal Franklin, a rookie with the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, who was a second-round pick out of San Diego St. and has averaged 1.9 points and 9.2 minutes over 14 games.
The Mad Ants also hope to have another Tony Mitchell, who was the D-League’s Rookie of the Year last season with Fort Wayne, but that’s pending clearance from FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, because he began the season in China.
The Tony Mitchell who is down from the Pistons had 14 points and nine rebounds Friday.
Fort Wayne got off to a roaring start Friday, led by Solomon Hill of the Indiana Pacers, who hit his first three 3-point shots. Howard’s lay-up at the end of a 2-on-1 fastbreak gave Fort Wayne a 35-19 lead with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter.
Today, Hill will return to the Indiana Pacers, having played just two games with the Mad Ants. He scored 15 points in 25:46 Friday.
Iowa whittled the deficit down gradually and took its first lead, at 78-77, on a Jarvis Varnado jump shot with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter.
The teams went back and forth until there was 5:16 remaining in the game, when Chris Porter had a put-back for a 109-108 lead. Then came a Howard jumper and a Siva 3-pointer, plus a foul, for a 115-108 lead with 4:03 left.
Note: Fort Wayne’s Bennie Hill missed the game with wrist injury.